What do you do when a radiator leaks? What ways did Model T owners stop non pressurized radiator leaks ? How can you stop leaks with non modern automobile radiators? Is there a simple way to stop a leak in an old worn out radiator?
You didn't say where it was leaking from. If the core, replace it. http://bergsradiator.com/home.html You will be glad you did. If from the upper or lower tank or necks a radiator shop might be able to make the repair.
My advice is buy a new one if it's a black car. At the very least re-core it, particularly if it's a brass radiator. You'll still have a new one for a third the cost of a new, lesser-quality brass radiator built today.
In the old days, folks had several "favorite" things to put into a leaking radiator -- Oatmeal, Grits, Black Pepper, Eggs, etc. etc.
Today, there is a whole host of products at your local auto-parts store, that claim to do the same thing.
The theory with all radiator sealers, whether home remedies or store-bought, is that they dissolve in the coolant, and when they ooze out through a hole, they solidify -- thus sealing the hole.
Problem is, any of those stop-gap remedies will coat the inside of the block, and when you finally get a new radiator or core, the heat transfer from the block to the water will be diminished. I know - I've done it.
Ergo, the two previous posts, which are based on sound experience-based principles.
NO ! $800.00. I am not Jay Leno. I 'm just a simple man with a Model T. Are there any older guys with experience dealing with older radiators and simple affordable fixes.
I have had good luck with the aluminum powder. No luck with Bars leak. But it all depends on how bad the leak is.
I toke my old radiator to a radiator shop here in Milwaukee and they repaired it for me. Problem is, and they told me this, a radiator that is 90 years old may not be repairable. For me they got it fixed. I think they charged me $150. What that meant was that it didn't leak. But it also didn't perform very well. It would still boil over on parades or when idling a long time. After about 2 years of this I purchased a new radiator. There are not as many radiator shops around any more, because radiators are just replaced now. Look for one in your area, maybe they can fix you up for a year or two. BUT, you might be tossing good money down the radiator drain. My 2¢, good luck. Mike
Your cars are 87 years old. Over the course of those 87 years they've experienced a lot of vibration. On many old radiators, maybe most, those decades of shaking cause the radiator's fins to separate from the tubes. With that physical contact lost, heat from the tubes isn't passed on to the fins and into the passing air as it used to be. The old radiator doesn't radiate as it did. If this has happened, fixing a leak is a waste of money.
If you're lucky and that hasn't happened to yours, maybe you can find a radiator shop where there's somebody old enough to know how to fix the leak. I agree with John. If the leak is from a tank, look for a shop to fix it. If it's from the core, start saving your money for a new Berg's radiator. If it was a brass era car I'd suggest a recore. But for your 1927 I'd get a new one.
I also agree with Peter that coating the inside of your cooling system with pepper, eggs, bacon, corn flakes, and other breakfast foods, or with store-bought nostrums, is a bad idea.
Daniel, I am an old guy and have had a good deal of experience with old leaky radiators, but you still need to tell us where the leak is located.
If it's in a tank seam area it can be cleaned and resoldered. If it's in the core area a tube can be cut and soldered at each end. If the core is rotten, that is, too many leaks to repair, it needs to be re-cored.
Dykes Automobile Encyclopedia has good information on repairing radiators... might be a good place to start.
Again depending on where the leak is,i use J-B Weld Perm-O-Seal,it is a powder that goes in the radiator and circulates through the system, it doesn't swell or melt it says it cannot clog, obstruct or harm the cooling system,it stopped a leak from a small crack in a valve galley for ten years so far, if you drain the system just pour the coolant back in to the radiator. Most auto parts places don't carry it,i ordered a case through Amazon.
If it's just a few tubes leaking, take your needle nose pliers and pinch them shut.
If its an original radiator and the leak is stooped and just because the leak is stopped that doesn't man it will cool efficiently.
After 90 some years things began to wear out.
You might be lucky and the radiator will still cool well enough to not boil over.
That's a maybe.
I fought that war with my 24 Coupe and had heard T's usually boil over. NOT SO!
I patched, spent money, drove all over to find a good 'cheap one' and the same thing happened. Boil over after just a few minutes.
I finally spent the money for a new one from Bergs.
My 24 Coupe is a different car with the new radiator.
A recore runs around 3-400.00.
Either way is better than trying to have fun in a T and worrying about always having to add water.
Been there and done that.
Like Jim Sims,i have had good luck with aluminized stop leak.To make it work better i heat the water antifreeze mixture and stir well before i put it in and go for a long drive.Over the last 100 plus years does everything require a new radiater or recore?? It is in my 14 now and i never added water this year and never overheated! Bud.
Your a lucky one Ken. And as I said as others did that old original radiators could still cool OK if over that period of time the fins haven't loosened up and it hasn't been overly abused and stopped up with this and that.
Count yourself lucky. I wasn't.
Thank you all. The leak is at the bottom drivers side . Most hot rod radiators are around $280.00. Would one work? Can you buy a new model T core somewhere?
John,Your right as i did not get enougf antifreeze in last fall and the T froze last winter!Soon it will be drained for the winter and i have bought a new brassworks for the 15.The quality of that leaves me to try almost anything to avoid doing that again! Bud.
Go to your local radiator shop and ask for some stop leak. I had a small seep at the bottom take seam. The shop took the tank off, rodded it out and put the tank back on. The seep was still there,I went down to the shop and they gave me a gold colored powder. It had a real name , but he called the radiator man's best friend. It fixed the problem.
On a post years ago someone mentioned I believe that a radiator core for a (Caterpillar) tractor engine fit about perfect to the old top and bottom of the radiator . Anyone remember that post ?
You can fix small leaks with a soldering iron once you can find the actual source of the leak. A couple of months ago a friends fan came loose and the fan hit the core. A couple of tubes were punctured. With a little work and a few bad words I managed to fix each damaged tube, so it can be done.
Thank you guys for your help and advise. It looks like a new one is the way to go.